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Getting to know you: Marianne Breen-Hart, Senior Manager, Accenture

What’s your favourite thing about the industry?

 The breadth of possibilities. As a Senior Manager within Accenture Technology I work across industries and businesses looking to introduce new innovative solutions to existing IT challenges. It is fast paced and dynamic in nature and it is a constant learning curve as we address new and complex issues. Fundamentally, I am working with clients to help them shape their business streams and remain competitive through technology and it is always a challenge I relish. The advances that have taken place in technology over the past ten years really excite me to the possibilities for what comes next and how technology will continue to shape the way we live and work.

 I see broader industry embracing Technology both to operationalise and maximise strategic growth. I see Technology being more about innovation and idea creation that is accepted as the broader platform many companies are building on for success in terms of innovation, security and New IT.

Looking to the future, what do you see as being the next important thing in tech?

Technology is embedded in everything we do, improving the way we live, work and experience the world around us, so it is hard to see one big ‘next thing’. More likely, we will see several new trends or tech advances that will change the shape of things to come and it will be the companies that learnt to ‘pivot in the new’ and embrace these technology changes who will be the leaders in the future.

 Accenture’s 2018 Tech Vision digs into the IT trends that are rapidly reshaping not just daily life, but society as a whole and offers a guide to businesses in all industries to imagine what’s possible. It sets out the five key trends transforming society and creating the foundations for future enterprise growth as Citizen AI, Extended Reality, Data Veracity, Frictionless Business and the Internet of Thinking.

 Technology is no longer something you might do, it is something you need to do to survive in the world of disruption we now operate in and it is evolving so rapidly it is best to take a broad view, rather than focus on one development.

Why did you join ScotlandIS and importantly, why are you still with us?

 Every industry needs a focal point and a champion. For me, ScotlandIS excels because it is outward looking and ambitious and in the true spirit of today’s technology community it is both collaborative and passionate about what it does. The trends and thought leadership I see in the Technology vision and the New IT approach we champion in Accenture is supported and enhanced by this fantastic network of professionals through ScotlandIS.

What do you consider to be the biggest benefit of your ScotlandIS membership?

 There are many benefits however, a key one is the opportunity to engage with ScotSoft 18. The event perfectly captures the energy and expertise that exists within Scotland’s technology sector.  Each year, the event has grown and has become the perfect place to tap into what is happening on our doorstep.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

 People, their passion and the ideas they spark. Within my role at Accenture, I have scope to support a number of community initiatives which not only bring me into contact with new networks of people, but also allow me to drive forward issues that are important to me.

 I work with new joiners to Accenture to help them find their place in the organisation and I love the passion, different perspective and new ideas that they bring. I also lead the company’s Accent on Gender Programme across the UKI Technology business, which supports our commitment to reach gender equality across the global business by 2025. I lead the Women in Technology HUB network which allows me to organise peer coaching, mentoring, leadership sessions, events and discussion about overcoming some of the gender challenges we face today.

 I particularly enjoy working for an organisation that cares about the development of those who work there, which means I regularly get to attend new IT training to enable me to understand changes in the industry that I can take on to clients.

If you were speaking to a classroom full of 3rd year high school students how would you pitch the industry as the best place to be?

 I would explain to them the journey that I have had and the fact I didn’t see myself working as a technology leader when I was in their position. I was good at sport and business studies at school and enjoyed politics and English. I was less keen on subjects like Maths and Science and wasn’t the best at computing. Nonetheless, I did a business degree at Strathclyde Business School and then moved into a graduate job with Accenture in 2008. Since then I have had the most fantastic opportunities afforded to me that have allowed me to travel the world, and define business change and strategy across several industries.

 I would explain that I never thought of doing the job I have now, because I didn’t know that it existed. So, I would suggest – be curious, try new things, and never feel that there are barriers to what you do with your career. Working with technology is exciting and because it is constantly changing, it means you learn new skills and have fun along the way.

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